Mohammad Mokhtari (writer)
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Mohammad Mokhtari (Persian: محمد مختاری ) (April 21, 1942 – December 1998) Mohammad Mokhtari was born in Mashhad. He graduated from Mashhad’s Ferdosi University in 1969, majoring in Persian Language and Literature. He married in 1972. In 1973, Mokhtari joined the literary foundation of Ferdosi’s Shahnameh and soon became a member of its scientific committee. From 1979 until the beginning of the Cultural Revolution, Mokhtari taught at the School of Dramatic Arts (today’s School of Cinema and Theatre) of Tehran University. In 1981, he was the secretary of the Iranian Writers’ Association for one year. He was arrested in 1982 for political reasons and imprisoned for two years. He was also permanently banned from working for the government. From 1986, he was on the editorial board of the Donya-ye Sokhan magazine. He also had close ties with other publications such as Takapu. Mokhtari played a key role in the re-opening of the Iranian Writers’ Association. He was a long-time member of the Association and a central figure in the Third Iranian Writers’ Association. According to friends and acquaintances, he worked eagerly for the achievement of the goals of the Association, and followed its projects with patience and perseverance; his constructive and helpful criticism proved vital for the Association (Asr-e No). He also played a crucial part in the writing and publication of a letter, dated October 15, 1994, in which 134 writers stated their objection to censorship and restraints on the freedom of expression. Mokhtari was a successful researcher and respected poet. He had published several books of poetry, as well as a book on mythology and the Shahnameh.
On December 3, 1998, Mr. Mokhtari left his house for shopping and never returned. The next day, police officers of Aminabad found an unidentified body in an uninhabited area of Aminabad, on the estate of a cement factory, near the road to Firuzabad (near Tehran City). There was nothing to help identify the body, other than a pen and a piece of paper. The body was transferred to the police station’s forensic team. One week after the disappearance of Mr. Mokhtari, on December 10 (the International Human Rights Day), Mr. Mokhtari’s son, Siavash, identified his body at the morgue of the police station. He had been strangled on December 3.